- Nigerians have been asked by the Customs boss, Hameed Ali, to forget the rule of law and constitutional protections of their fundamental rights where security matters are concerned
- Ali reportedly stated that when it comes to security, all laws take back a seat, as rights come when one is well and alive
- President Muhammadu Buhari had previously voiced a similar sentiment, asserting that his government will continue to prioritise national security over the rule of law
- Following suit, AGF Malami had also said that former NSA Sambo Dasuki would continue to be held on the grounds of national security, by the federal government
Nigerians have been asked by the comptroller general of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hameed Ali, to forget the rule of law and constitutional protections of their fundamental rights where security matters are concerned.
According to Premium Times, quoting The Nation, Ali made the statement at a press briefing on the border closure on Monday, October 14.
Legit.ng notes that Ali’s position seems to be a reinforcement of that of President Muhammadu Buhari and AGF Abubakar Malami, who had both separately opined that security is more important than the rule of law – a position which would most likely trouble legal experts and rights activists.
Ali reportedly said: “When it comes to security, all laws take back a seat. We want to protect our nation, we want to make sure that our people are protected. You must be alive and well for you to begin to ask for your rights. Your rights come when you are well and alive.
“Go and ask the people in Maiduguri when Boko Haram was harassing their lives, the only question was survival, there is no question of right. This time Nigeria must survive first then before we begin to ask for our rights.”
At a Nigerian Bar Association conference in 2018, President Buhari, responding to allegations of a crackdown on political opponents by his government, insisted that his government will continue to prioritise national security over the rule of law.
Following the president’s assertion, AGF Malami, Nigeria’s chief law officer, also said in an interview, that former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki would continue to be held on the grounds of national security, by the federal government.
Dasuki has been detained since 2015 on charges of mismanagement of a large chunk of money allocated for defence procurement during his days as NSA to former president Goodluck Jonathan.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the Nigerian Customs Service announced the complete border closure across the nation, which also means a total ban on all import and export goods through the land border.
The comptroller-general of customs, Hameed Ali, stated that the ban will remain in place until an agreement is reached with neighbouring countries on the kind of goods allowed into the nation.
He said the measure was for security purposes, so as to scan all goods that enter and exit the nation.
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